|Year : 1968 | Volume
| Issue : 4 | Page : 243-244
Compensation in industrial ocular injuries
Dept. of Ophth., Main Hospital, Bhilai Steel Plant, Bhilai. (M.P.), India
|Date of Web Publication||24-Dec-2007|
T N Gupta
Dept. of Ophth., Main Hospital, Bhilai Steel Plant, Bhilai. (M.P.)
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|How to cite this article:|
Gupta T N. Compensation in industrial ocular injuries. Indian J Ophthalmol 1968;16:243-4
To deal with this matter one has to revise virtually the whole of WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION ACT.
The workmen's compensation Act which came into force from 1-7-1924 has been amended several times. It has been enacted to provide for payment by certain classes of employers to their workmen for compensation for injuries by accident occurring during discharge of their duties.
In 1929 an amendment removed restriction on compensation in building trades. In 1931 the categories of workmen covered by the Act were increased, scales of compensation were raised and the waiting period reduced. In 1946 the wage limit of a worker covered by the Act was increased from Rs. 300/- to 400/-.
The workman's compensation Act of 1946 should be further revised and provision should be made for temporary workers also.
A workman is defined as any person whose employment is not of a casual nature.
Total disablement means such disablement temporary or permanent as incapacitates a workman for all work which he was capable of doing at the time of accident.
Partial disablement means one of temporary nature which reduces the earning capacity of a workman for the profession he has been following at the time of accident. It is called permanent when it reduces the earning capacity in any profession even employed elsewhere.
Compensation is paid in all accident cases except:
1) When injury does not disable totally or partially.
2) When workman is under influence of drink,
3) When a workman disobeys clear orders regarding safety.
4) When a workman disregards safety devices.
No claim for compensation can be entertained unless notice has been given as soon as practicable after the accident, but within 2 years of occurrence of death, disability or accident.
| PRE-RECRUITMENT MEDICAL EXAMINATION|| |
This is a very important factor if we are not going to be caught unawares when an accident occurs. The medical examination should be by an Industrial Medical Officer or a Board of Specialists.
Haphazard record of vision may give rise to a lot of difficulties later. Several cases have been discovered by me (on a routine check-up of our records) where vision has been recorded as, both eyes = 6/6. Probably in such cases vision was recorded by a general duty doctor with both eyes together. After an accident the workman can claim that each eye was normal. One eye however may have been blind at the time of employment.
Colour vision must be recorded in all cases whether good colour vision is essential for the job or not. A workman not requiring good colour vision at time of recruitment may be transferred later to a job where good colour vision is essential. Leaving aside railway jobs and crane operators etc in whom good colour vision is essential, ordinary workers like electricians require good colour vision. The colour of wires red, blue and green if mistaken may lead to serious accident and death. In all such cases heavy compensation may have to be paid just because proper medical examination was not undertaken earlier.
MALINGERING:- Many people pose a problem to the Industrial Ophthalmologist by malingering. A few examples will help.
1) C. R. was exposed to hot coal tar gases and developed severe conjunctivitis in both eyes. It settled down in two days after which period a thin nebula was discovered on the left cornea reducing his vision to 6/36 with best correction. His pre-recruitment records showed "Vision both eyes = 6/6". Even six months after the accident the nebula was as before and must have been there before the accident. The latter fact however could not be proved and a partial disability compensation had to be paid.
2) 2 years after a hot metal burn on face and hands J.G.P. claimed his reduced eye-sight was due to accident. On examination he was found to have myopic astigmatisum which could be corrected to 6/6. No compensation was paid inspite of loud protests by the worker and the workers' Union.
3) S.S. after a head injury at work was alright for 6 months. Then he reported loss of sight in the left eye. A simple fogging test proved him to be faking blindness.
Role of corneal opacities
Industrial trauma causing Corneal opacities can be of a multiple nature. A simple tiny corneal foreign body nay become infected giving rise to a sloughing corneal ulcer and a thick corneal leucoma.
Panophthalmitis and loss of eye has been noted in some cases. The cases of lucomas must be submitted to keratoplasty before compensation is decided.
Scales of Compensation:
1. Loss of sight to such an extent as to render the claimant unable to perform any work for which eye sight is essential 100% loss of earning capacity.
2) Loss of one eye: (other eye being normal) 40% loss of earning capacity.
3) Loss of vision of one eye without complication or disfigurement 30% loss of earning capacity.
Schedule of Payment [Table - 1]
[Table - 1]